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Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?


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Today there is a story going round that they would now like the 4th champions league place for the premiership to be decided by a play off between 4th,5th,6th and 7th.

Apparently this would give more fans the dream of playing champions league football.

But It wouldn't really, this system would be a greater advantage to the current top 4 teams (Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal) as you would always favour them in a knock-out system over the smaller teams, and it would mean they would be able to relax during a season knowing they didnt have to kill themselves to get 4th place.

Much like Liverpool this season, if we don't make 4th it will be a disaster. However with these play offs, we would be looking really good and could focus on the Europa league competition a bit more seriously.

I hope it does happen, as it would make the final few games really more interesting and would also give us some extra action after the season.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

It is definitely an interesting proposition indeed.

In terms of marketing and business it would certainly be a great opportunity for clubs to get more funds and force mid table teams to step it up with a prize of more revenue available. This would be certainly make the league more competitive and fans will benefit from it.

However there are a few downsides, firstly the fact that the extra games could potentially mean highly congested fixtures and could be detrimental for big cup games at the end of the season eg. Arsenal slipping to fourth but making the finals of the CL. This would mean that they would have to play a couple of extra matches to get the CL spot for the next season and risk injury for the CL finals.

IMO i think what's not broken shouldn't be fixed. Up until this season where Liverpool have disgraced English football on European soil, the English sides have dominated the CL, notably last season where 3 of the 4 semi final spots were filled by the 3 elite English clubs. This highlights their supremacy in european football and shows that the current system has worked in sorting out the best of england. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal dominate the PL year-in year-out because they have good squads that can dominate Europe and not just because the system has made it easy for them.

However it'll be interesting to see what happens in the CL in terms of english teams with the likes of Man City, Tottenham n Villa fighting for Liverpool's so called 'reserved spot' in the CL and how well they perform in Europe. I think however that we'll have to wait a couple more seasons before making decisions about changing the CL system in the PL ;)

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

What I can't understand is, if sides from 4th-7th compete in this playoff system, where does the league placings for the Europa League (currently for 5th and 6th place) go?

Does it go to the Runner-up in this playoff? and that still doesn't explain where the 2nd league placing goes for the Europa league.

All this aims to do is swell premier league coffers, and undermines the England team more than anything. Where would this fit into Fabio's insistence that the season finishes early?

And another scenario:

Arsenal finish 4th in the league, reach the FA Cup final and the champions league final. Where will the time be, given the tight calendar there is already, to fit in an extra 2 playoff games (given they reached the final of it) between the end of the regular season, the FA Cup final and the CL final?

Utter nonsense imo, nothing more than a money-making scheme.

If they were that intent on "spicing up" competition at the FA, and given the FA can assign Champions league/Europa league placings as they see fit, I would much prefer the top 3 to qualify for the champs league as normal, and the 4th CL placing to go to the FA cup winners. At least that way it will stop the devaluing of the FA cup, stop reserve sides from competing in the early rounds, which even at mid-table prem clubs who seem to be doing it more often and leave it open to anyone to qualify.

EDIT: Also, given the current financial peril some clubs find themselves in, it would probably see more clubs getting into financial trouble chasing the dream. Another reason to be sceptical.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

It is definitely an interesting proposition indeed.

In terms of marketing and business it would certainly be a great opportunity for clubs to get more funds and force mid table teams to step it up with a prize of more revenue available. This would be certainly make the league more competitive and fans will benefit from it.

However there are a few downsides' date=' firstly the fact that the extra games could potentially mean highly congested fixtures and could be detrimental for big cup games at the end of the season eg. Arsenal slipping to fourth but making the finals of the CL. This would mean that they would have to play a couple of extra matches to get the CL spot for the next season and risk injury for the CL finals.

IMO i think what's not broken shouldn't be fixed. Up until this season where Liverpool have disgraced English football on European soil, the English sides have dominated the CL, notably last season where 3 of the 4 semi final spots were filled by the 3 elite English clubs. This highlights their supremacy in european football and shows that the current system has worked in sorting out the best of england. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal dominate the PL year-in year-out because they have good squads that can dominate Europe and not just because the system has made it easy for them.

However it'll be interesting to see what happens in the CL in terms of english teams with the likes of Man City, Tottenham n Villa fighting for Liverpool's so called 'reserved spot' in the CL and how well they perform in Europe. I think however that we'll have to wait a couple more seasons before making decisions about changing the CL system in the PL ;)[/quote']

Another Liverpool hater :rolleyes:

Would love to see a change like this as in some seasons recently the 3rd and 4th place sides have had little to play for towards the latter end of the season. This would make the race for 3rd more important too. Despite the suggestion of my learned colleague above that Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal dominate the EPL year in year out, it may be of interest of him to note that only once in the last 4 seasons has it been these three sides occupying the top four spots :). I won't touch on the European records of the 4 sides in question here as I wouldn't want this to seem like a witch-hunt, but again one of the three teams mentioned has far from dominated in Europe as that post suggested :P

Whilst I agree with your points James, that whoever in the big four ended up in this theoretical playoff would start as favourites (if only for the exeperience they have in knock-out ties be it two-legged or one leg affairs), I also think the chasing group would fancy their chances in the play-offs more than they would of breaking the big four over the season as a whole (barring this year off course). I would welcome it and I think there'd be less maningless games come the end of season :)

PS It cannot happen for 3 seasons at least anyway due to TV deals apparently.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

the big clubs have opposed it' date=' and it is almost certain that the idea will be put to rest.....[/quote']

only the top 4 have opposed it (United, Chelski, Arsenal and Liverpool) and under Premier League rules for a new rule to be passed there needs to be a majority of 14 clubs in favour, which they should reach if there's 16 supposedy in favour. This could be one thing the "big 4" have no control over ;)

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

It's bobbins really isn't it. I just get the impression this idea came straight from somebody like Gary Cook, and of course Scudamore would lap the idea up because you could legitimately host it somewhere like Dubai without running into all the issues that the 39th game proposal did.

If they want to make it more interesting give the FA Cup winners the 4th spot. Let's try and re-invigorate one of the jewel's in the crown of the English game instead of making the Premier League into even more of a circus.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

I 100% dont want this to happen.

Its pants, and an idea thought up on the off chance of making a few more million.

Its not good for the game, lets say a team like Spurs / City or Villa did get 4th, they have broken the norm, only to be told they have to play a play off ? and could well lose out on there deserved CL spot even after being the better team for the whole premiere league season ? :eek:

You simply cant do that.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

I 100% dont want this to happen.

Its pants' date=' and an idea thought up on the off chance of making a few more million.[/b']

Its not good for the game, lets say a team like Spurs / City or Villa did get 4th, they have broken the norm, only to be told they have to play a play off ? and could well lose out on there deserved CL spot even after being the better team for the whole premiere league season ? :eek:

You simply cant do that.

Nail on the head.

I agree with the other sentiment as well, the whole point of a league system is that if a Liverpool, or an Arsenal have a bad season other teams should be good enough to displace them and be rewarded for that based on their performance over 38 games. Not chucked into a competition that may well serve as a safety net for any of the under performing established elite. Aside from the fact that it's hugely depressing nobody seems to want to take advantage of Liverpool's slip this season, the point is still valid.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

Look at it this way.

In the current system, if Villa (by some miracle) manage to play well for more than a month and get into 4th pace at the end of the season.

They will only do an Everton, get drawn to some average european team and lose in the qualifying round. So they will have 2 games :o woah.

Atleast with a play-off, they can have a 2 leg game against whoever was 7th, then a final against a better team (like Arsenal, Liverpool). So you play 3 big games :D

and then the better team will be in Europe despite having a little blip in the league that year, everybody wins!

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

I particularly liked this little gem quote in one of the articles I read earlier.

The Dutch league tried a play-off system for the second Champions League qualification place but abandoned it after the 2007-08 season, when FC Twente beat Ajax 2-1. The issues in Holland were the risk of crowd trouble at such high-stakes matches and a perception that the play-offs were one-sided.

In the Premier League there is some confidence that neither of those would present major problems

Yeah, because English fans are widely renowned for being extremely placid. Especially when you compare us to those crazy Dutch.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

Nail on the head.

I agree with the other sentiment as well' date=' the whole point of a league system is that if a Liverpool, or an Arsenal have a bad season other teams should be good enough to displace them and be rewarded for that based on their performance over 38 games. Not chucked into a competition that may well serve as a safety net for any of the under performing established elite. Aside from the fact that it's hugely depressing nobody seems to want to take advantage of Liverpool's slip this season, the point is still valid.[/quote']

lol, it is, if Villa are ever to qualify for the champions league, i want to do it the proper way . . . by slugging it out over a season, not by being a second chance in some sort of play off system. The 4th best team in the league should be given the CL spot.

Look at it this way.

In the current system' date=' if Villa (by some miracle) manage to play well for more than a month and get into 4th pace at the end of the season.

They will only do an Everton, get drawn to some average european team and lose in the qualifying round. So they will have 2 games :o woah.

Atleast with a play-off, they can have a 2 leg game against whoever was 7th, then a final against a better team (like Arsenal, Liverpool). So you play 3 big games :D

and then the better team will be in Europe despite having a little blip in the league that year, everybody wins![/quote']When Everton played Villareal im sure Villareal reachedthe semis of the CL, hardly a average team :rolleyes:

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

I have to agree that the point the team that finishes 4th has done the best over the season and should deserve the spot. This argument is irrefutable. But the number of meaningless games at the end of the season are infuriating and dare I suggest that relegation and titles in the past have been decided by the luck of the fixture list on occasion :eek: . sides playing mid-table sides with nothing to play for get easy wins whilst those playing against sides fighting relegation or for the title have it much more difficult. Perhaps it's a different issue I'm mixing in here, but more has to be done to ensure all sides give their all at the end of the season and this may be one way (perhaps even a relegation playoff :eek:).

I don't like the idea of the FA cup deciding a chmpions league place at all. 6 games (or so) to qualify for the premier competition. 6 games in which, depending on the luck of the draw, you may only face one or two top flight sides. Never going to be worthy of a champions league place in my opinion :). Even if you had to face 6 EPL sides.

PS It won't affect this season or the next two as I understand as the TV deals apparently stipulate it

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

When Everton played Villareal im sure Villareal reachedthe semis of the CL' date=' hardly a average team :rolleyes:[/quote']

They were an average side compared to the whole competition.

Liverpool won it in 2005 but if you lined up every team in it that year and compared them, I'd have put Liverpool in the below average section myself.

In the qualifying stage Spurs, Villa, Everton would have problems against many teams in there, it would be a lottery.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

They were an average side compared to the whole competition.

Liverpool won it in 2005 but if you lined up every team in it that year and compared them' date=' I'd have put Liverpool in the below average section myself.

In the qualifying stage Spurs, Villa, Everton would have problems against many teams in there, it would be a lottery.[/quote']

I see your point, but they were not an average team form wise that season, or before that, played very well in La Liga and again in CL. Everton were extremely unlucky to draw Vilarreal, there are some pants eastern european / scandanavian teams that are in the draw too. But i do take your point we would struggle :) ( just like we have this season against top four :P )

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

There are valid arguments on both sides of the fence, and I can particularly see where Smartdoc is coming from in terms of trying to make Stoke v Everton in April be anything but the soul destroyingly boring, meaningless game that it would otherwise be.

My big problem with it is as a traditionalist in a way, I suppose. I just have a problem dealing with teams prioritising finishing 4th and taking the greater financial rewards on offer than actually win something. Competitions like the FA Cup and UEFA Cup have been destroyed by the all consuming monster that the Champions League has evolved into. Compounding that by making the likes of Fulham more concerned about finishing 7th in the league than actually giving their fans a day out at Wembley and getting some glory. In twenty years time I like to think that no Everton fan is going to reminisce fondly about the glorious season they finished 4th, but Pompey fans will still hold dear that FA Cup win (even if what followed has tainted it, somewhat).

The fact that finishing in a arbitrary position in a league that would otherwise be meaningless is placed above lifting a trophy that until the last decade was a real showpiece occasion just rankles with me. This would be yet another kick in the already significantly bruised testicular region of the FA Cup.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

If anything it would let the bigger teams focus more on the Fa cup etc.

If they are 4th, with the top 3 too far out of site but no danger of dropping past atleast 5 because Villa currently occupy that place and they arent going anywhere. Surely they could take a cup game more serious and not think 'if we risk our main players in this game we might not have him for a crucial 6 pointer against Man City and drop out of the champions leage spot'

it is a brilliant idea i believe and hope it comes into play within the next 3-4 seasons.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

If anything it would let the bigger teams focus more on the Fa cup etc.

If they are 4th' date=' with the top 3 too far out of site but no danger of dropping past atleast 5 because Villa currently occupy that place and they arent going anywhere. Surely they could take a cup game more serious and not think 'if we risk our main players in this game we might not have him for a crucial 6 pointer against Man City and drop out of the champions leage spot'

it is a brilliant idea i believe and hope it comes into play within the next 3-4 seasons.[/quote']

Not really. They're still going to want to finish in the top three to avoid a playoff. By the time they've established themselves there but aren't resting players for a tilt at the title it's usually too late in the day to prioritise it.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

Today there is a story going round that they would now like the 4th champions league place for the premiership to be decided by a play off between 4th' date='5th,6th and 7th.

Apparently this would give more fans the dream of playing champions league football.

But It wouldn't really, this system would be a greater advantage to the current top 4 teams (Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal) as you would always favour them in a knock-out system over the smaller teams, and it would mean they would be able to relax during a season knowing they didnt have to kill themselves to get 4th place.

Much like Liverpool this season, if we don't make 4th it will be a disaster. However with these play offs, we would be looking really good and could focus on the Europa league competition a bit more seriously.

I hope it does happen, as it would make the final few games really more interesting and would also give us some extra action after the season.[/quote']

Would love that, it would be a quarter final of Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa for sure. I like this because Man City already have a advantage against us, even if we finish outside the top four then we'll have a shot. We have beaten Spurs and Villa once and lost too them once. We drew with Man City though.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

I'm still on the fence with this idea.

Sure, it gives teams like Villa, Spurs etc the chance to get what they crave, but then, it gives them less to play for in the league. You only have to try and get to 7th spot. Makes the EPL somewhat less exciting in the run-in, in that aspect. Also, look at what happened to Ipswich. One season, they qualify for Europe, the next season, they implode and get relegated, never to return. A team could easily run that risk, and be good enough for the league, but not good enough for Europe, and their league form next season suffers as a result. although obviously that is down more to the management than the league.

I feel that the way this season has been going so far, it has to stay the way it is for another 3/4 years or so, to see if anything is shaken up by them. The 'other' teams in the top half like Spurs, Man City, Villa, Everton always have a chance, and they are certainly getting stronger. They do need a fair chance in order to get into the Champions League, but maybe the fairest of chances is simply whether they are good enough - it is the Champions League, after all. No point in giving these teams the chances to qualify if they finish third and end up in the Europa League, thus making the whole concept a moot point. :)

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

did i not say top 3 was out of their sights?

So one team in a very particular set of circumstances is going to take it more seriously? While about 4 or 5 other mid-table sides are going to be playing the kids with their eyes on 7th. Brilliant trade off.

It's another middle finger up to the FA Cup, and another gimmicky way to increase the already ridiculous revenue streams of the Premier League. But then those brought up on Champions League Tuesdays and Grand Slam Sundays won't give a monkeys. It's about time football ate itself.

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

Its pants' date=' and an idea thought up on the off chance of making a few more million.[/quote']

helps them pay off some of the loans for wembley though...

as for this idea, if england want to give up the 4th place (something which italy are very close to doing, giving their 4th CL spot to germany) then this is a great idea, why not make a tacky trophy as well

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Re: Play Off for the 4th CL Spot?

It's another middle finger up to the FA Cup' date=' and another gimmicky way to increase the already ridiculous revenue streams of the Premier League. But then those brought up on Champions League Tuesdays and Grand Slam Sundays won't give a monkeys. It's about time football ate itself.[/quote']

It will make football better though.

What do you have against super sundays?

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